Ezekiel sings a funeral dirge for three former kings of Israel. They were awful humans and terrible leaders. They helped cause the downfall of the nation.
take up a lamentation. The date is The date was 592 BC. It is five years before the fall of Jerusalem. And so Ezekiel is taking up a funeral dirge even though the city’s “death” was still in the future.
the princes of Israel. The word “princes” was the title Ezekiel gave the kings residing in Jerusalem.
This dirge was not for one individual. Rather, it was for the Davidic dynasty and the “death” of its rule.
VERSE 2. and say, ‘What was your mother? A lioness. She couched among lions, in the middle of the young lions she nourished her cubs.
your mother? A lioness. The lioness probably stands for the nation of Israel.
VERSE 3. She brought up one of her cubs. He became a young lion. He learned to catch the prey. He devoured men.
He became a young lion. That is, he became a king. This lion was probably Jehoahaz. He became king after Josiah’s untimely death.
VERSE 4. The nations also heard of him. He was taken in their pit; and they brought him with hooks to the land of Egypt.
they brought him with hooks to the land of Egypt. After a reign of only three months, Jehoahaz was deposed by Pharaoh Neco II, who led him with hooks in his nose to Egypt.
VERSE 5. “ ‘Now when she saw that she had waited, and her hope was lost, then she took another of her cubs, and made him a young lion.
another of her cubs, and made him a young lion. This lion was probably Jehoiachin.
VERSE 6. He went up and down among the lions. He became a young lion. He learned to catch the prey. He devoured men.
He devoured men. The brief reign of Jehoiachin was a time of terror and destruction.
VERSE 7. He knew their palaces, and laid waste their cities. The land was desolate, with its fullness, because of the noise of his roaring.
VERSE 8. Then the nations attacked him on every side from the provinces. They spread their net over him. He was taken in their pit.
the nations attacked him. After reigning for three months, Jehoiachin was deposed by Nebuchadnezzar.
VERSE 9. They put him in a cage with hooks, and brought him to the king of Babylon. They brought him into strongholds, so that his voice should no more be heard on the mountains of Israel.
his voice should no more be heard. Jehoiachin was in prison for 37 years.
VERSE 10. “ ‘Your mother was like a vine in your blood, planted by the waters. It was fruitful and full of branches by reason of many waters.
Your mother. Now Ezekiel is addressing King Zedekiah directly.
VERSE 11. It had strong branches for the scepters of those who ruled. Their stature was exalted among the thick boughs. They were seen in their height with the multitude of their branches.
It had strong branches. Back in the day, Israel was strong and fruitful.
VERSE 12. But it was plucked up in fury. It was cast down to the ground, and the east wind dried up its fruit. Its strong branches were broken off and withered. The fire consumed them.
It was cast down to the ground. Israel went from blessing to disaster. It was uprooted in fury and thrown to the ground.
VERSE 13. Now it is planted in the wilderness, in a dry and thirsty land.
VERSE 14. Fire has gone out of its branches. It has devoured its fruit, so that there is in it no strong branch to be a scepter to rule.’ This is a lamentation, and shall be for a lamentation.”
Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.